A culinary arts teacher in Massachusetts is accused of making anti-gay remarks to a student who made a rainbow-colored gingerbread house (video below).
Marissa Farias posted on Facebook that her brother, Joshua, was building the gingerbread house when his teacher at Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School in Fall River, Chef Jeffrey Coulombe, made some inappropriate remarks. The post has since been taken down.
Marissa told WLNE what allegedly happened to her brother, who is gay: "He was working on a project for a gingerbread house, he was using really cool colors, he was really proud of his work with his friend. And when the chef saw it, he basically said, 'Don't be surprised if this is in the trash tomorrow.'"
She also said Coulombe told her 16-year-old brother: "If you feel the need to express yourself and your diversity, we have clubs for that."
"It's not just my brother," Marissa added. "It's been a lot of students who have been talked to this way by this teacher."
The Facebook posting spurred others to write similar accusations about Coulombe.
School Superintendent-Director Thomas Aubin told the news station: "We did do the investigation, and based on the investigation done by our administration, there was really no finding because there was nothing to be found ... When things are taken out of context, I think things can be misconstrued."
The school put the gingerbread house on display in the campus restaurant, but the rhetoric heated up when both sides were interview by WFHN-FM.
"It is a complete falsehood and fabrication," Aubin told the radio station. "On a personal level, we think it is disgusting that somebody would take somebody like Chef Coulombe’s image and put it on the internet when he’s had a history of tolerance and inclusion. Our feelings are hurt about it. We are so insulted by [the accusation] ... it is disgusting."
"For [the school] to just say straight out that me, my sister, and my friend were lying…without even talking to me ... was crazy," Joshua fired back. "They claimed we are liars."